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For some reason, when it comes to outdoor adventures, we’re like “hounds.” The excitement is just too much to bear. All week long, we’ve been looking forward to our time outside and as soon as we get to the trailhead or reach the top, we “unleash” ourselves down the trail. We get it. Time is crucial. You’re amped to finally get some downhill time. But, set aside a few minutes ahead of that ride for a simple warm up. You’ll be glad you did.

Be “One” With The Bike

A Singletrack Mind Woman Mountain BikingMountain biking isn’t a passive sport. You need to be on point as soon as you step into the saddle. 100% of your attention must be on the task at hand. Taking a moment to disconnect from the bumper-to-bumper traffic or the stressful work day will make sure that your mind is primed for the adventure ahead. It’s as easy as riding in the parking lot to find the balance point between you and your bike… but nonetheless, it’s key!

A Warm-Up Doesn’t Need To Be Long

Fairfax California Marin County Warm Up Before Mountain BikingWe know what you’re thinking. Nobody has time for that! Luckily, warm ups don’t need to be some elaborate thirty minute session. Keep it simple. If you have the right set of moves and prime your body to become an extension of the bike, shoot for a minimum of five minutes and your good to go. Focusing on track stands, rocking back and forth, side-to-side, and ratcheting will make sure you’re ready. If you do have more time or waiting for a buddy to gear up use those bonus minutes for joint mobility, muscles flexibility and overall body and mind preparedness. But when in a time crunch 5 min will prepare you for your task at hand-riding your bike.

For Those Visually Inclined

For more of a visual representation and a bit more detail, watch the video below to see the basic techniques to follow when warming up:

Basic Balance from A SingleTrack Mind on Vimeo.

If you add this as part of your routine, once you do drop the hammer, your mind, body and bike will be ready to fire on all cylinders. You’ll make sure that you’re riding at the best of your capabilities and put yourself at less risk of injury.